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When it’s not clear what the weather may bring, the GOREWEAR Torrent Jacket is kit I’m sure to have on or with me. It’s versatile enough to cut the wind, warm me on a cool morning, shield me from the rain, and easily pack away once the weather is more settled.

I’m generally not a fan of rain jackets or wind vests as they often seem one-dimensional. Many I’ve tried also don’t fit or breathe very well during hard, fast rides. Putting them on often seems like I’m conceding that I’m going to be sacrificing some speed or comfort until I can get them off.

Cut and fit for cycling, not just inclement weather

The Torrent Jacket fits me nearly as well as a long sleeve jersey or light stretchy cycling jacket. I don’t experience any puckering or flapping in the wind. It’s cut for a cyclist shape riding in a cycling position. It’s sized that way too so don’t think of it as a windbreaker or rain jacket. Be sure to look at the size chart to get the dimensions that fit you.

Fits like a cycling top rather than a windbreaker or raincoat

The light fleece-lined neck zips up without gaps, the arms are long enough when I’m stretched out on the bike, and the wrist and waist bands hold nearly as well as those on a jersey or lined jacket. There’s also a drop tail that tapers out to about 3 inches/7.5cm long to protect your lower back from any road spray. And the material has a bit of stretch in it as well.

The Torrent Jacket is a great option to wear over a light jacket, long-sleeve jersey, or even a short-sleeve one on shoulder season days when it’s often in the low to mid-40s F or single digits C and then warms up 5 to 10 degrees once the sun is higher in the sky and my legs and torso are warmed up.

It keeps my whole upper body warm the way arm warmers alone can’t yet I can remove it if the temp warms the way I wouldn’t with a lined jacket. If the wind is steady and making the temperature feel cooler than it actually is, I’ll keep it on to break the wind yet my torso will still be able to breathe as if I had just a lined jacket and base layer on.

Easy off, pack, and back on

When it’s time to take the Torrent Jacket off, it packs nearly as small as an unlined vest or gilet and about as compact as arm warmers. I simply roll it up and stuff it in my rear center pocket with my phone and it pops up a few inches above the top band.

Tucks away neatly in a rear center pocket

Doing a long, fast downhill on a cool day? I’ll put it on in no time at the top of the climb and then take it off when I get to the bottom. The zipper pull is big and the slider connects to the teeth very easily even with full-finger gloves on. It zips up and down smoothly.

Rain or snow? Well, it’s made of Gore-Tex. Enough said.

If I ruled design

The GOREWEAR Torrent Jacket is so functional and practical that I admit to thinking of it as a more versatile version of what Castelli introduced years ago with the now iconic Gabba jackets and their Perfetto successors, both made with GORE-TEX materials.

I may be getting a little greedy but I wish the Torrent had the typical 3 rear pockets to store my ride nutrition and phone. There is a vertical zippered pocket on the right side that’s big enough for a large phone and a handful of gels, probably all I need for most situations when I plan to keep the jacket on for an hour or so.

If I’m going to wear it longer rides, I’ve still got my jersey pockets for storage.

By the way, don’t use the Torrent pocket to store your jacket when you take it off. It’s too much work to stuff it in and pull it out and creates a weird shape that doesn’t fit as easily in your jersey pocket. It’s much easier just to roll it up.

Small reflective bands below the biceps but large back zippered pocket

There are 1” or 2.5cm tall front-facing reflective strips on each of the jacket’s arms just below my cyclist’s puny biceps. That doesn’t seem to be enough, especially on the black model I wear. GOREWEAR also makes the jacket in a hot “Fireball Red” and a muted “Sand” yellow, either of which will be more visible than the standard black and navy.

Of course, front and rear blinky lights trump any reflective strips or bright colors, especially during low or flat light times of the year.

Better and less expensive than the sum of single-purpose kits

With the GOREWEAR Torrent Jacket, I’ve set aside my arm warmers, vest, and rain jacket and don’t know when I’ll use them again. The Torrent has become my one-for-all kit that performs just as well and in some cases better than any of those single-purpose pieces.

At US$230, £230, €230, the Torrent Jacket is more expensive than the individual pieces it replaces but probably less than their combined cost. And, it’s a lot more versatile; you don’t have to think about which combination of pieces to bring on your ride. Cold, wind, or rain on a changing day of weather, it’s the only thing I need to worry about packing or wearing.

You can order the GOREWEAR Torrent Jacket at stores I recommend by clicking on these links to Competitive Cyclist and Sigma Sports.

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  • What a shame it is black though. When will manufacturers realise that in winter or wet conditions, black is the wrong colour? We need to have colours that help us be seen.

  • Similar to the Assos Clima Capsule RS Alleycat and Mille GT Clima jackets, all of which are currently less expensive on sale.

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